153 Tasting Notes
My husband (an oolong fan), and I received a sample of this premium Oolong (October 2012 harvest). My husband asked me to order more, telling me it was the best Oolong he has ever had. It has the floral aroma and taste you would expect from a high quality Tie Guan Yin. It has a clean, refreshing finish. Very nice.
This was a sample generously sent from Mary at Teavivre. It is my second experience with this particular pu-ehr, and I recall enjoying it last time when I prepared it according to the package instructions. This time, I didn’t prepare it the same way. Instead, I went to the Teavivre website brewing instructions for the gaiwan. I rinsed the leaves (7 gm) twice, then steeped for 20s,30s,40s -later realized it should have been 10s,20s,25s,30s,35s etc. I usually add sweetener to all teas, but this time I didn’t. There is some bitterness by the 3rd steeping-still, not bad. Maybe this could be overcome with shorter steep, but the description on the website says it has some bitterness mid-sip. By the 3rd steep, I decide to add some stevia, and for me, this is better, because it cuts the bitterness. Now I wonder though, if perhaps I should just keep the brewing time shorter, because there was no bitterness for the 1st few steeps. And before, when I brewed it with more water, Western style, I didn’t note bitterness either. So now, for the 4th steep, I use 6 oz water for 30 seconds which pretty much eliminates the bitterness. From my relatively limited experience with pu-ehr, I think I prefer those that are ripened, and Teavivre has some that are quite good. Nevertheless, this was interesting to try, and you may need to play with the time and leaf/water ratio for optimal results.
I’ve been experimenting with this Phoenix Oolong the last couple days, brewing it both Western and Gong fu style. Either way, I found it to be very tasty with a deliciously fragrant aroma. When brewed in a gaiwan with a lot of leaf, I got multiple steepings, and picked up on honey, floral, and nectar-like notes as I went along. Teavivre’s instructions are to use 10 gm with 3 oz water at 212 F, with a quick rinse, then 2-3 second steeps for the 1st 4 steeps, then increase time slightly with subsequent infusions, good for more than 12 steepings.( I modified Teavivre’s instructions a little and used my 7 gm sample in 4 oz water),with good results. I have run out of time, so haven’t made it to 12 infusions, but thus far, am very happy with this oolong. My husband is the bigger oolong drinker, as I lean more toward blacks, but I anticipate re-ordering this since this is one we both like it a lot.
Having this for the 2nd time-it was a sample that was sent with my order last fall. Very nice balance of flavors, different than a Chai, and well suited to a coolish winter day. I had it with a little stevia, without milk, and am really enjoying it today. It makes a delicious dessert tea. I would order this again.
This came in a box of things from Azzrian awhile back. I have not been in the mood for mint lately, which is why I haven’t had it yet. My moods can really vary when it comes to tea! Maybe I like mint better in warmer months. Candy Cane was better than I expected. The mint was not overwhelming-maybe the chocolate toned it down? This was pretty good, even as it cooled down. Glad to have the chance to try it, thanks to Azzrian’s generosity.
When I saw TeaFairy’s review, I realized I hadn’t posted anything on Raspberry Chocolate Bark,though I’ve had it on the shelf for a few months. Since TeaFairy did a great job of describing it, I can’t add much more. I’ve tried several Teajo flavored black teas, and the fact that their single estate Assam base is good and is not overwhelmed by the flavors makes for a great cup of tea. Chocolate and raspberry go hand in hand beautifully in desserts, and the same goes for this tea, making it a very satisfying dessert tea. I’ve found that their teas are excellent hot or cold. You can get 10 cup samples for $2.95, giving the opportunity to trying several flavors. Their teas are organic as well.
I purchased this as part of Upton Tea’s Premium Darjeeling Sampler. Since my experience with Darjeelings has been limited, this has been a great opportunity to check out generous sized samples in tins. Today, after the excitement of sending my 20 yr old daughter on a full semester Georgia Tech Pacific Study abroad trip (Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji), I came home with a few hours until work and decided I would compare this TD74 1st flush against the TD54, another 1st flush from Thurbo Estate. As a sidebar, I read that Tumsong is known as the “garden of happy hearts”. With the Tumsong Darjeeling,the brew is gold and there are notes of tropical fruit, almonds, and a citrus pungency that I find quite enjoyable, despite an ever so slight bitterness.I am sensitive to bitterness,and though I made this according to instructions (boiling, 2 1/4 gm, 3 min. steep), there seems to be a hint of bitterness that I didn’t detect with the Thurbo. Perhaps this would be remedied by using a little less leaf or time on the steep. So,to sum it up, my 1st impression is that I favor the Thurbo, but I will hold back on rating it, and try adjusting the leaf and/or steeping time the next go round.
My favorite Earl Grey thus far has been Harney’s Earl Grey Supreme so I was very interested in trying Diamond Jubilee which is a skillfully blended Earl Grey with a twist. This selection has a hint of grapefruit essence, which is a wonderful addition to the black teas and citrusy Bergamot. I initially steeped it for 4 minutes, but preferred it at 3 1/2 minutes. I liked it a lot warm, but also think it would be very nice cold, and I recommend it to Earl Grey lovers.
I am using my last sample of this excellent pu-erh from Tea Vivre. I got it as part of the Pu-erh sample assortment. My initial tasting notes from last summer indicated at least 9 steeps which I enjoyed hot, at room temp, and cold. Nice and earthy, and especially good with a little stevia. Today, I had 7 gms which I rinsed twice to open up the leaves, then steeped in 6 oz boiling water at 30, 60, 120, etc. I haven’t had pu-erh in awhile, but wanted to share this with my son while he is home from school. It really hits the spot, and I highly recommend it, especially if you haven’t had pu-erh before. There is no fishiness, and I think it is a great example of what a good ripened pu-ehr is like. The Teavivre site shows low quantities of this. If you haven’t dealt with Teavivre before, I can recommend them as a company that provides excellent service and they offer free samples with your order.
I appreciate the opportunity to try Immortal Springs Laoshan White as a sample with my order. I prepared it as advised on Verdant’s website and enjoyed 6 steepings. It may have been possible to get more. I would agree with the product notes which describe this as silky with honey and sugar snap-pea flavors. The taste is sweet and vegetative, reminding me somewhat of some green teas I have had. There is no bitterness whatsoever. If you are a white tea fan, take advantage of the fact that it is currently on clearance. I think you will enjoy it a lot.